When the French host an international football tournament, they usually make it to the final (and usually win it), that's just how it is. Euro 2016 is no exception, with France beating Germany 2-0 on Thursday night to secure their place at Sunday's showpiece event. The final will take place at the Stade de France, against Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal, in front of 80,000 fans with many millions more watching around the world.
Les Bleus record against A Selecao is formidable to say the least, with France having won 18 of 24 previous encounters, but that won't stop Cristiano Ronaldo doing everything he can to try and make history with Portugal by winning the European Championships for the first time.
France go into the encounter as the strongly-backed favourites with the tie being played at the Stade de France in Paris, which will hand Les Bleus a big home advantage. They’re 1/1 (2.00) to win in 90 minutes whilst Portugal are less fancied at 15/4 (4.75). Given that the two teams have had 5 draws between them at the tournament, it’s not unreasonable to think that the final could be going into extra time or penalties, and the draw is priced attractively at 11/5 (3.20).
Check out Bet365 for the latest Euro 2016 odds.
The first 24 team UEFA European championship has been a success according to the bigwigs who see the legacy being the likes of nations like Wales and Iceland going deep into the competition at the expense of some of the established nations.
That said the semi-finals barring Wales saw business as usual and the final sees an established if unfancied Portugal place France in the final.
France have no suspended players going into Sunday's final.
William Carvalho returns from suspension for Portugal and he could replace Danilo in central midfield, while Pepe is expected to recover from a thigh problem in time to return to the defence, but there is time for that prognosis to change.
French manager Didier Deschamps will be looking to the likes of Paul Pogba, Dimitri Payet and Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann to secure the silverware, with the latter almost certain to finish as the tournament’s top goalscorer having scored an impressive six goals so far. Throughout the tournament France have played exciting, attacking football.
Conversely, Portugal have approached their games with caution despite boasting the attacking talents of the talismanic Cristiano Ronaldo and, to a lesser extent, former Manchester United winger Nani and Portugal have averaged only 1.33 goals per game, with only one of their five games delivering over 2.5 goals.
Player To Watch - Antoine Griezmann
Player of the tournament so far, Antoine Griezmann has scored six goals and is the tournament's top scorer, with only Michel Platini scoring more goals in a single European Championship. Here's what France manager Didier Deschamps had to say about the nations stand out player:
"Antoine is a great player and he proved that again tonight in everything he did.
"He works very hard and along with Olivier Giroud, from a defensive perspective he made sure we were a very compact unit." he added.
"He's a very important player, as he has been for Atletico all season. At the Euros, he has scored goals, set up team-mates and got others around him playing well."